Summer base layers seem to be becoming a popular garment for cycling enthusiasts as much as professionals riders. They are designed to be lightweight and wick moisture and sweat away from the body as quickly as possible whilst remaining lightweight and comfortable. As we head toward a summer of cycling, we’ve been testing the dhb Lite-Fit base layer range, exclusive to Wiggle.
The dhb Lite-Fit fabric has been developed as a performance level, ultralight range of warm weather base layers – so we are told from the Wiggle website. In reality, well it is pretty much exactly that. I have been testing the dhb Lite-Fit sleeveless base layer and the first thing that you notice out of the packet is that their is nothing to it weight-wise. Made from Polyester and featuring flat-lock stitching, it is quite incredible how the manufacturers have managed to get the weight down. The front of the base layer is a very fine breathable fabric whilst the back (and sleeves on the short-sleeved version) is made from a lager open mesh fabric to increase the air flow and help the body cool down quicker.
When it comes to the sizing, I tested the XL option. Being a UK brand, dhb are usually accurate to British sizing, but in the passed I have found their performance range comes up a little smaller. However an XL in the Lite-Fit base layer, whilst being a close fit, proved to be very comfortable and nonrestrictive. Some may find that the sleeveless option is a bit loose around the arms but dhb do offer a short sleeve option too.
On The Ride Performance
Heading out, the dhb Lite-Fit base layer’s ultralight weight made me almost forget that I was wearing it under my cycling jersey. However when riding, something that did let the base layer down for me was the body length. I’m around 6’3 and ride in an ‘aggressive’ riding position but I found that the dhb Lite-Fit base layer did tend to ride up, despite being under my bid-shorts. This is not to say that shorter riders would have the same issue but taller riders would benefit from a little more length in the body, without having to sacrifice the fit around the body, shoulders and chest.
With the British summer yet to really kick in, the warmest temperature I have managed to test the sleeveless base layer in has been around 19-20°C but riding at a high temp for 20-25 miles. Ideally what you want from a summer base layer is a garment that effectively wicks sweat away from the body quickly. This base layer does this job well, drawing the moisture into the base layer for it to evaporate quicker (depending on the weather). dhb base layers are given a Polygiene treatment to help protect against odour. It is claimed that this treatment will help ‘inhibit the growth of odour causing bacteria, allowing you to wear more and wash less’! Personally I wash my cycling gear at the end of every day of riding. But what this does mean, is that the base layer should last longer and won’t need to be replaced because it has begun to smell after excessive you.
dhb Lite-Fit Sleeveless Base Layer Review Conclusion
If you ride regularly but have not worn a warm-weather base layer before, we can highly recommend them. The dhb Lite-Fit base layer is a very good option for both a performance and price. It is incredibly lightweight and with flatlock stitching and open mesh back, it is very comfortable. The overall fit is good and pretty true to UK sizing, but is let down a little by the body length if you are a taller rider. However we wouldn’t over compensate for this by going a size up though as you will end up with a relaxed fitting garment that is likely to be less comfortable under a cycling jersey. The dhb Lite-Fit base layers are available in both men’s and ladies options and both gender options have sleeveless and short sleeve versions. dhb is exclusive to Wiggle and always seem to be very competitive with pricing. The dhb Lite-Fit base layers have an RRP of £19.99 for the sleeveless and £24.99 for the short sleeve option but expect to save around 50% at the time of this review.
All in all, the dhb Lite-Fit base layer is a lovely garment that is well thought out and exceptionally good value for any fair-weather rider.
Incredibly comfortable performance level base layer are an equally impressive price.